[Rome—Tuesday, 14 February 1860]

Tuesday 14. We are to see the Brownings today and can think of nothing else. We don’t say much about it but I believe both long for 2 o’clk to come. In the meantime we visit Rogers’ studio and see his famous doors. Oh! tell it not in Gath but are not these doors as wonderful as Ghiberti’s?

We were strolling on the Pincian overlooking the Corso and a lovely boy attracted our attention. We were sure it was the Brownings’ son and so it proved. He reached their doors about as soon as we. Browning came forward in his own free noble manner to welcome us. Mrs Browning was ill but most cordial. She is at present interested in the publication of her political brochure.

Browning talked about “Sordello” and his desire to finish it at which his wife looked at him with a curious doubting expression which at last came out in words Oh! Robert I’m afraid you’ll never make that clear! He was arranging the fire while she spoke so that his face was hidden but when he turned to look at us and answer there was not the least shadow of annoyance about him only a radiant expression of confidence in himself and belief in her as if he were saying “Well! if she thinks I can’t do that she knows well what I can do” mingled with an amused look, that she should think the idea so droll.

We stayed with them a long time while their child played to us urging out the soul of the music with all the slender might of those tapering fingers and the flushing earnestness seen upon his forehead.

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